Thursday, February 26, 2015

Introduction to Baking: Cherry Pie By Scratch

Alanna & Company: Cherry Pie by Scratch Recipe

So I'm not the best cook and I'm not the best baker, but every once in awhile I try my hand at either. I am a big proponent for easy, simple recipes. So when I decided to make a pie the other day I thought, I will find a recipe with the least ingredients possible. And I did! I found the Artful Parent's cherry pie recipe and it seemed pretty simple enough and with a title of "The Best Cherry Pie Recipe" I decided that this recipe was a winner.

I thought, "I can just get the frozen roll-out pie crust dough, and all I'll need to get is the filling ingredients". So off I went to my grocery store to get all the ingredients.

Alas, I searched and searched and there were no canned cherries. No big deal, I'll just get frozen cherries. Decided I didn't need the almond extract, when the hell was I going to use that again? I found the rest of the ingredients, except frozen pie crust dough. Ehhhh, no big deal, I'll just find a Pinterest recipe of how to make pie crusts. So I found this recipe of how to make pie crusts with the least ingredients possible.

Alanna & Company: Cherry Pie by Scratch Recipe

So let's start with the pie crust.

Homemade Pie Crust Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup, All Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup, Shortening or Unsalted Butter
  • ½ tsp, Salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp, cold water
  • Flour for dusting surface to roll out dough

My perfectly rolled pie crust! I was so proud. 

Homemade Pie Crust Directions

  1. In a medium bowl blend together flour, salt, and shortening/butter with a pastry blender or fork. You want the flour mixture to be pea-sized crumbles.
  2. Slowly add cold water by teaspoons. Then mix by hand.
  3. When dough starts to form a smooth ball, put on floured surface. 
  4. Roll out and place in pie plate. Leave half of the dough for the top crust, you can just leave in the bowl and put that in the refrigerator for now.

Cherry Pie Filling Ingredients

  • Two bags of frozen pitted sweet cherries. 
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (not necessary)

Alanna & Company: Cherry Pie by Scratch Recipe
Once you cook down, the cherry mixture will end up semi-gelatinous.

Pie Filling Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Make the pie filling by mixing the two bags of frozen cherries with sugar, cornstarch, salt, and almond extract in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add a little bit of water (probably about a half a cup) to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly, or until the liquid is thick and bubbly (partially jelled). Set aside to cool. 
  3. Sprinkle the counter with flour and roll out the bottom pie crust. Arrange in pie pan. Pour your cooled pie filling in the pan.
  4. Roll out the top crust. Use a sharp knife to cut the top crust into strips for a lattice crust or use a cookie cutter to make other designs. 
  5. Either drape your top crust over the pie, if you used a cookie cutter design, or weave your traditional lattice crust.
  6. Trim the edges of the top and bottom crust to 1/2 – 1 inch beyond the pie pan and then fold under. Either press around the perimeter with the tines of a fork or crimp it with your fingers.
  7. If desired, brush the crust with a beaten egg white. And really beat the egg, otherwise it will pool at the sides of the pie crust and make it look kind of funny once baked like mine does...
  8. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and place on a lower rack (to catch any potential drips) and bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees F then lower the oven temperature to 375 F. Bake for another 30-40 minutes, until the crust looks nicely browned and the juices bubble up thickly.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool for approximately 3 hours before eating. This is important to let the filling gel correctly.
  10. Enjoy!

  11. Even after the multitude of failures, it actually turned out really good! So learn from my mistakes and make a great goddamn cherry pie!

    Have you ever baked something entirely from scratch? Or have you struggled with pie crusts like me? Please tell me I'm not alone....

    Linking up with Ash.

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